Red Dawn

Baseball should be back tonight from its two-day unscheduled and scheduled hiatus, as the Cubs start a stretch of 20 straight. Rich Harden gets the nod and says it's the best he's felt in a long time. We'll see how good he's feeling after pitching in 30 degree temperatures and a light drizzle, although that's probably picnic weather in Victoria, B.C. It's also the first night game of the year for the Cubs, where they went 20-8 last season.

Milton Bradley will sit again, bad weather and a bad groin never being a good mixture. The lineup from Wittenmyer's twitter feed is Soriano, Fukudome, Lee, Hoffpauir, Ramirez, Fontenot, Soto, Theriot and Harden. They'll oppose Micah Owings and the 7-5 Reds (5-2 on the road) and of course, thy former Cubs manager - sir Dusty Baker.

To hold you over until game time, some fancy plate disclipline trend charts from Harry at Cubs F/x. I also wanted to mention the "Cubs' Bullpen Usage" table on the right sidebar below the first ad, a nifty little shorthand to see who might be available out of the pen each night and a countdown to Carlos Marmol's inevitable arm injury.


I don't see how they can play this game tonight...I was just outside in the Loop and it's raining (nearly sleeting).

got me...muskat said earlier they were going to try and get it in...

weather shows it not clearing up until about midnight...

muskat said earlier they were going to try and get it in...


If they play, I'd be alright with it if they sat Fonzy, Ramirez, and Bradley. Weather looks like crap.

Bruce says they plan to still play tonight...

As long as the new field drains as well as they say it does the game should go on. It's not raining hard at all (my windshield wipers were fine on the slowest possible setting).

Thanks for the updates on the game conditions.

I really like the usage chart. Is that an original TCR idea, or shamelessly lifted from some other blog?

I would have given credit to the blog if I lifted it....somewhat original idea except that John Hill use to do them in the game previews once upon a time.

although I'm sure some site somewhere is doing something similar...

All of 2008 they only canceled one game. The Astros that "gave us the Division."

They even played when lightning was striking nearby on another occasion until Berkman ran into the dugout.

Berkman realized he's ehhh... a big target?

I think he also screamed like a little girl.

CSN brilliantly comparing the popularity of the Chicago sports teams. I think it's just trendy to kick Cub's fans. Eff them.

Douchebag 1: "If I can't interview him after the game, he's not an athlete."

Douchebag 2: "You can't interview Fukudome."

"If I can't interview him after the game, he's not an athlete."

brilliant. god knows it's all about the writer/journalist, not the players.

...and give douchebag #2 a high-5 for the reply.

I'm barely paying attention, so I don't know the context, but something tells me I'm better off not knowing.

The fact is the Cubs are a national obsession and probably top 3 in terms of number of fans. A. people can watch them on WGN, and b. people like to root for the underdog. It also helps to have a history of likable players like Sandberg and Sammy. When the Cubs finally do go all the way, and after the initial buzz, you'll see a profound dropoff in interest among some of the more casual fans.

I hope you're right

"Could have first Micah v Micah matchup in baseball history tonight..."

Nope. Micah Bowie faced Micah Owings April 5, 2007, when
Arizona visited Washington Nats.

Mike MacDougal DFA'ed... someone will pick him up.

Michael McDonald has been DFA'ed...someone will pick him up. That's what a fool believes!

game time delayed by 10 minutes, 7:15 CST Start...

Man, Soriano is so fucking maddening often. Bases juiced and of course k's.

He's got a case of the Sosa with the bases loaded.

Soriano's numbers with the bases loaded over the past three seasons:

304/333/522 in 23 ABs with 3 walks and 5 strike outs.

Soriano's numbers in 2009 with the bases loaded.

000/200/200 2 K's and a walk in 5 PA's.

Runners in scoring position:

0/9 with 3 BB's

Sosa's career numbers with the bases loaded:

301/342/566 in 193 PA

His total career line was: 273/344/534

Who has the major league record for most bases loaded PA's to start their career without a grand slam?

Sosa. What's your point?

My point is that Sosa was overanxious and chased pitches outside of the strike zone whenever he came up with the bases loaded for the first 9 years (without looking it up) of his career. Soriano is doing the exact same thing.

It wasn't really that obtuse a point.

You act like those 9 at-bats with RISP, and the 5 at-bats with the bases loaded, are relevant and meaningful...

No, I act like when I watch him with the bases loaded he is over anxious and chasing pitches 18 inches outside of the strike zone.

Which, of course, has very little/nothing to do with your ridiculously small sample sized stats that you posted above as if they were relevant.

I is all the fault of the dickpole

Did I forget where the parachat link was?

Hoffpower just tags the fucking thing every time out

GOOD OMEN! Tan & white cat runs left field, and they dump it in the Bartman seats. Cubs take the lead and we need a hold.

This is my official announcement, even if they win it all, I'll still watch next year.

Ahhh...the Neal Cotts Experience!

Did that "feel" like Neil Cott's last chance to not walk a batter to anyone else besides me?

Nice to see Cubs olde prospect LOU MONTANEZ up with Orioles tonight extend his personal hitting streak to thirty games going back to last year with an RBI double against the WSox.

Meanwhile FELIX P, who bumped LM down to AAA, is zero for his last 19.

Everytime I see Baseball Tonight's segment on the nasty pitches of the night, I see Felix Pie. But it's not the pitches that are nasty.

mark grace @ARZ...calling the game from the pool tonight.

some between-inning promotion where some fan tries to catch 3 balls shagged into the OF...dude misses the first 2.

mark grace climbs down the OF wall and "ejects" the fan and catches the 3rd ball for him...wearing a hawaiian shirt and shorts...

i miss mark grace.

You know what I hate? I see @ARZ and I immediately think that's Mark Grace's twitter. I'm going to go kill myself now.

You know what? It's your own fault for knowing anything about Twitter. I had to use my own deductive reasoning skills to interpret what your comment meant. Ignorance is never a virtue, except in the case of Twitter.

@MisterWhipple: Wasn't that the night there was a funnel cloud spotted in Logan Square? That storm was craaazzzy.

I do believe that's correct. That was the weirdest weather I've seen in Chicago. Branches and even entire trees fell on cars all over the place.

Recent comments

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  • Illuminati.

  • May the best team win, and subsequently humiliate the Cardinals.

  • I love arriving here first thing in the morning, adding a few moronic posts (moranic for any Cardinals fans who may be trolling), and reading the sage posts of all you guys. Most knowledgeable fans on any forum, by far. So post like crazy today and help give TCR some visibility!

    I told my wife last night that I'm going to need a support system for tonight's game. Tonight is going to be a lot harder on me than it is going to be on these rookie bad asses.

  • James Russell elected free agency.

  • based on what SF has been doing every other year lately, getting access to the postseason playoffs seems to be what's important. bring on dat short series!

    that said, skipping the sudden death 1-game WC would be nice from here on out.

  • I know what you are saying, but I feel compelled to point out that there's no such thing as luck, curses, etc. The Cubs this year have as good as a chance as the Pirates to move on to the next round. If the Cubs proceed to the next round or not tomorrow, it will not be because of luck, but because one team outlasted the other. When/if the Cubs are lucky enough to make it to the league series, that's where they may find their biggest challenge. The Dodgers have a good, deep pitching staff.

  • debuting the new format 1 game "sudden death" WC matchup at yankee stadium does a perfect job of showing the intense emotion and drama this game can be.

    that said, i'm ready to not see yankee stadium or hear fans at yankee stadium for another 5 and 1/2 months. at least i don't have to sit through the braves with their "tommy hawk chawp" this postseason.

  • i'd like to know why the internet radio feed of the game (which is always delayed by a few seconds at best) is almost a minute faster than the ESPN cable TV coverage. wtf?

  • i dont know what order they'll be in, but i pretty much expect fowler/schwarb/rizzo/bryant/montero/castro/lastella/arrieta. any change at all (aside from the first 4 guys) wouldn't shock me, though. coghlan is still a wildcard in the lineup joe could always march d.ross out there with very slow arrieta pitching.

  • Yup. Have to agree. Baseball, like golf, certainly has that psych component for the player. There is no real reason why a fielding position should affect a batting average. The Cubs are 106 years over due for a little luck. Don't you guys think so? Maybe the rookies can bring some dumb luck on.

  • probably stacking capable lefties vs cole while keeping the "hot" castro in the game. fwiw, he's 1-6 lifetime with 0 bb/k vs cole (double).

    i chalk bryant's issues at the plate while playing OF up to coincidence so far.

  • I will call your dead horse, "Trigger".

    In one game, when anything is possble, I am glad that Joe Maddon is our Manager.

    He knows the stats better than all of us. It would seem, IF La Stella gets the start at 3B, it will be only up to the point that they were to get the lead (crosses fingers). From everything I have read, the game will be managed like a hoops game: offense/defense. So expect La Stella to be out of the game by the 5th. This team is incredibly deep which is so surprising. We never woulda thunk it.

  • i don't know what their roster plans are, but j.herrera is out there practicing with the team.

    i can't imagine him making any roster, though. dude had 4 PA the entire month of sept. him being a good dude to be around while keeping the clubhouse loose seems to be his main role at this point.

  • I know it's my own personal dead horse to beat --but Bryant has been a lousy hitter when playing the OF this year. Given that it's his first playoff game, I really hope they keep him in his natural position and don't mess with his routine.

    Lousy as in 8-for-45 with one XBH and no HR. Small sample and all that -- but why take the chance?

  • hard to tell what's up given they'll probably want to stack as many good lefties into the lineup as possible.

    castro being a bit hot doesn't help things. if he was still cool they'd probably stick la stella at 2nd and call it a day.

  • Madden won't announce lineups but Stella is practicing at 3rd and Bryant in LF today. I'd rather see Bryant at 3rd but I guess Stella has been hotter than Coghlan.

    /edit. Though I guess they could be practicing this with the idea Stella would come in as a PH then double switch him to 3rd base and Bryant to LF. Hope that's the plan instead